From the Head of School
Mrs Erica Thomas

From the Head of School image

Over the last two weeks, our music students have showcased ensemble development and individual skills and talents in several events including the Sydney Eisteddfod and Winter Concert. The depth of the music program at Newcastle Grammar School is evident to all who have been privileged to be a member of the audience. The Chamber Choir’s repertoire and moving performances have been a standout. It was great to see the Stewart Strings perform a more challenging programme under the Strings Director, Ms Jenny MacQueen. Well done to Bamboozle, the Concert Band and Brass Razoo for your performances and a special mention to the Orchestra, who ended the Winter Concert superbly.

We were lucky with the weather and able to hold both the Berkeley and Stewart Athletics Carnivals in the last week. Congratulations to Hunter House who won the Stewart (Years 5-8) Carnival and Shortland House who were victorious in the Berkeley Carnival (Years 9-12). A number of records were broken at each Carnival and a full report appears later in this Bulletin. We are looking forward to the Park Campus Athletics Carnival tomorrow.

In the last week, two successful Hunter House Days and Chapel Services were held at Park and Hill Campuses. We raised close to $4,000 for the designated charities – Allambi Care and the Vietnam Project. Thank you to all who supported these days.  The Presentation Ball for Year 11 was a great success on Saturday Evening – the culmination of weeks of work together as a year group.

From the Deputy Head of School
Mr Alan Parsons

From the Deputy Head of School image

Are My Students Struggling? … I hope so!

That may seem a strange sentiment, but it is true. I do hope my students struggle each day with the concepts I introduce in each lesson, and again at night when they complete the day’s problems for homework. I’ll make my reasons clear for this shortly.

Students with a Fixed Mindset have as their number one priority to look smart at all times and at all costs. They must never look “dumb”.

Students with a Growth Mindset have learning as their number one goal. They care about their grades but care more about learning. When faced with failure or a poor result, they will do what they can to recover, keeping a focus on what attributes, talents and skills they must develop in order to be successful

In a Fixed Mindset, effort is a bad thing. They would believe that if you have ability, you shouldn’t need effort and if you need to employ real effort you must be lacking in ability – an argument that might be close to the heart of Homer Simpson!

Students in a Growth Mindset believe that effort facilitates abilities. That even geniuses have to work hard. They are in tune with the work of Professor Anders Ericsson, author of the book, “The Road to Excellence”, in which he describes deliberate practice as the key to success.

Deliberate practice is a highly structured activity engaged in with the specific goal of improving performance (Ericsson, 2008). It requires effort, it has no monetary reward, and it is not inherently enjoyable – in fact it is often accompanied by confusion and frustration. When people with a Growth Mindset engage in deliberate practice, the goal and motivation is the improvement of performance over time. People with a Fixed Mindset eventually opt out. Those who may have coasted on talent are eventually left behind those who have employed a Growth Mindset and employed techniques involving the deliberate practice needed to become expert.

In the face of setbacks, students with a Fixed Mindset believe that failure is a reflection on the individual. They will go out of their way to hide mistakes and conceal deficiencies. These people prefer to compare themselves with those they know they are better than at whatever endeavour is involved.

In the face of setbacks, students with a Growth Mindset work harder and study more. They know that setbacks are a natural part of learning. They are up for the challenge.

The most successful students I have taught have struggled, in my case, with their maths. They continue to struggle through the challenge until they achieve mastery and understanding. They employ deliberate practice, a specific form of practice that I will discuss in a future article, until they achieve mastery. Then they move forward to the next struggle, knowing that failure is temporary and success is the endgame. They exhibit grit and self-regulation – the two most consistent predictors of success in life.

References: >click here



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From the Head of Park Campus
Mrs Alicha Dyer

From the Head of Park Campus image

Newcastle Grammar School is committed to providing a safe, respectful and disciplined learning environment for students and staff. One where students have opportunities to engage in quality learning experiences and acquire the values of respect, responsibility and honesty to prepare students to be active citizens for the 21st century, who value their culture, community and are lifelong learners.

All members of our school community are expected to respect the following rights:

  • The rights of all people to be treated with respect.
  • The rights of all students to learn.
  • The rights of all teachers to teach.
  • The rights of all to be safe.

Student behaviour that does not comply with our expected standards is not acceptable. We have implemented a revised Behaviour Management Plan for K-6 which is designed to ensure that students understand that consequences are to be applied for choosing to behave inappropriately. The Plan sets out the range and level of responses and consequences for student’s inappropriate behaviour.

Whilst we always take action to promote and recognise positive student behaviour, we also need to educate our children that they themselves play an important role in creating and maintaining a safe and supportive school environment.

Before School Reading in Stage 1

What better way to start the day than by delving into the pages of an entertaining story, or sparking curiosity through reading the pages of a factual text. This is how many of our Year 1 and 2 students are beginning their day as we invite parents and grandparents into our classrooms to share in the delight of listening to their children read. Using the very successful Kindergarten Before School Reading Programme as a springboard, Years 1 and 2 have opened their classrooms before school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to encourage one of the most precious gifts we can give our children: A lifelong love of reading and wanting to find out more.

Year 1 Half Party

The idea behind this learning experience was for students to have a practical way of applying the Mathematical concept of ‘Recognise and describe one-half as one of two equal parts of a whole and use concrete materials to model half of a whole object.’

Students planned which party foods would be best to serve at our party based on their ease of being able to be divided exactly in half. The scene was set with tables decorated with tables cloths cut in half, serviettes folded in half and plates cut in half!

Students worked with a partner and cut every piece of party food served to them in ‘half’ to share equally between them. We even had a special guest who painted half of students’ faces. We ended the half party with a ‘conga challenge’ where students had to create their own conga lines made up of equal number of girls and boys.

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From the Director of Pre-school
Mrs Angela Tapp

From the Director of Pre-school image

It’s been another huge week at Pre-school. Huge! Music, Library, Kids Get Active, Athletics Fun and Kid Coders.

On Tuesday afternoon (31 May) Bec Carmichael from Kid Coders came to Pre-school and began the technology program that will run every Tuesday until the end of Term.  The Groovers and Shakers each had half an hour with Bec. They learnt how a computer is made up of many small ‘components’ which work together as well as the name and role of various components – CPU (Central Processing Unit): Hard Drive; RAM (Random Access Memory); ROM (Read Only Memory) and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit).

Bec also led a discussion about the role of computers in our everyday life and the children were surprised to learn that computers are everywhere (including in the car, microwave and supermarket). The children then listened carefully to Bec’s instructions and used tricky cutting, gluing and drawing skills to create their very own computer. In relation to the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), a number of outcomes were met including Learning Outcome 4 where the children were using information and communication technologies (ICT) to investigate and problem solve.

We also had a fabulous day on Thursday (2 June) when we held our Athletics Carnival. All the children participated in five events with a lot of enthusiasm and skill. The events were:

  1. Age Race (run down to the fence, touch it, turn around and run back again)
  2. Egg and spoon race (where all the children were successful and amazed at how well they kept their eggs (disguised musical egg shakers) on their spoons (blu tack works a treat)
  3. Long jump (a run up from the grass jumping in to the sandpit)
  4. Shot Put (using bean bags and throwing them as far as possible on the grassed area)
  5. Tunnel Ball (where the children were brilliant at rolling balls through each others’ legs and thought it was hilarious when their teachers demonstrated how to do it).

At the end of the events, each child was presented with a blue ribbon (because everyone is a winner at Pre-school) which they proudly took home. Their participation certificate has been placed in their portfolios along with photos. It was good fun.

1617 - Pre-school 3 1617-Pre-school 1 1617-Pre-school 2

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From the Music Department
Mr Kevin Young & Miss Erin Sweetman

Music Department

 Mr Young is on leave for the next three weeks and will be returning to school at the commencement of Term 3. His classes and co-curricular activities are being covered by Mrs Jane Smith.

In Mr Young’s absence; for any performance queries contact Miss Erin Sweetman (  and any Academic queries contact Mrs Tonia Martin (

Winter Concert

On Friday, 3rd June, the musical ensembles from Stewart and Berkeley were showcased in the annual “Winter Concert”.

 Featured in the Winter Concert was the Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Stewart Strings, Brass Razoo, Grammarphones, String Orchestra and Bamboozle.

 Students performed beautifully which demonstrated the hard work and dedication that has been put into the rehearsal process.

 Thank you very much to the teachers that have been working with these student ensembles, and also to the senior students that assisted with stage managing on the night.

 Brass Razoo performed at the Year 11 Presentation Ball on Saturday night while the students and guests danced up a storm. Thank you to the members of Brass Razoo and to Mr Leigh Sherringham for the professional manner in which they approached the night.

Sydney Eisteddfod

We had a great day in Sydney. A very long, but thoroughly rewarding and valuable experience for all of us. We were in 3 sections of the Sydney Eisteddfod Youth Choir competition. Our first section was at 9.00 am. We began our road trip at 6.30 am and our first section was at 9am so a warmup on the bus was required.

>click here for a full report

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From the Director of Sport/PDHPE Coordinator
Mr Leigh Carroll

From the Director of Sport/PDHPE Coordinator image

Berkeley Athletics Carnival

Congratulations to all the Berkeley students who participated in the Athletics carnival on Monday. After some pretty ordinary weather over the weekend it was great to see the wind blow those rain clouds away to leave a great day with blue sky and some excellent performances. It was a real shame to see so a number of students away on the day, leaving their Houses short of competitors.

The participation rates were once again huge by those in attendance and it is that participation which makes the NGS carnivals so great.

The results of the House Championship:

1st        Shortland        2914 points

2nd       Macquarie       2055 points

3rd       Hunter               1894 points

4th        Tyrrell                1831 points

>click here for the Age Champions results

Mr L Carroll-Director of Sport

Stewart Athletics Carnival Results

A huge congratulations to all Stewart students who competed in the Athletics Carnival on Thursday, 2 June. There was some excellent results both on the track and in the field.

1617-Sport-Stewart Athletics Carnival

The results of the House Championship:

1st  Hunter            2617 points

2nd  Tyrrell           2134 points

3rd  Shortland    1950 points

4th  Macquarie    1920 points

The House Cheer was hotly contested with Hunter House also taking out first position in the end.

>click here for the Age Champions results

Results from the Stewart carnival will be processed with both Park Campus and Berkeley Carnivals in selecting a school team to represent at the upcoming HRIS Primary and Secondary Athletics carnivals.

Ms C Byrnes-Stewart Sports Coordinator

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AICES Cross Country

Last Thursday 21 NGS students travelled to Sydney as members of the 2016 HRIS Cross Country team to contest the AICES Championships which were held at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre, Horsley Park. The group of students who represented NGS were one of the most successful representative groups we have sent away and should be very proud of their efforts. A special congratulations to our 18 years girls team who, after winning the HRIS Age Group Championship went on to win the AICES Age Group Championship as well-quite an accomplishment!

An AICES team has now been selected to represent AICES  later this term. Congratulations to Ryan Box, Lorcan Redmond, Caleb Agostino-Morrow, Seraina Danuser,  Phoebe O’Keeffe, Laura Flack, Isabelle Todhunter, Gabrielle Boyer and Rebekah Stuart.

Having 9 NGS students in the AICES team is outstanding.

>click here for the results

NGS Tennis Co-curricular Activity

Newcastle Grammar School gives students from Year 5 through to Year 12 the opportunity to develop their skills at Tennis.

Commencement Date:

Training commences Term 2, Week 7 on Wednesday, 8 June from 3.05pm-5.00pm.


Wednesday training sessions and Saturday games will take place at District Park Tennis courts, Broadmeadow.

Transport arrangements:

Students will catch a bus to and from training. If required, students can be picked up from the courts at 4.30pm, however, they must supply a note stating the person who will be collecting them at the courts. If parents are not at the courts by 4.40pm when the bus returns to School, the student must return to School with us.

Competition arrangements:

The inter district competition will commence at District Park Tennis courts, Broadmeadow, on Saturday, 23 July (Week 1, Term 3) and the finals will be held on Saturday, 17 September 2016 (Week 9, Term 3).


Students are to wear their full sports uniform to training and games, with appropriate joggers for every session. All players will need a hat and their own racquet.

If you have any questions regarding the arrangements, please contact Mrs Dart as soon as possible as we are now finalising player/coaches ratios.

My email address is:

Mrs V Dart-MIC Tennis

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From the Hunter House Coordinators
Ms Marnie Thomas & Ms Chantal Byrnes

From the Hunter House Coordinators image

Hope Flies 

Artwork by: Jasmin Zhou

Hunter House would like to say a huge THANK YOU for such a fantastic Hunter Week last week celebrating HOPE. Hunter Day on Hill Campus last Wednesday offered “A Day on the Green” which involved delicious cakes and treats on Merrick at recess and live music, mystery food boxes, frozen yoghurt, picnic rugs and cushions and a beautiful flock of HOPE on the Courts at lunch. This day raised a total of $3225 which is absolutely fabulous and will be given to the NGS Vietnam Project and Allambi. Last Friday was an extremely exciting day as Hunter students had the privilege of presenting Hunter House Chapel in the Cathedral as well as taking Hunter Day and Hunter Chapel to Park Campus in the afternoon. All of these wonderful events encouraged students to think about the importance of HOPE and the ways that it can bring people together. The Hunter “Day on the Green” experience at Park Campus was particularly joyous as it brought Kindergarten to Year 11 students together in a fun and meaningful way and really communicated the value of a shared human experience. At both Chapel Services last Friday, Eve Turner in Year 11, delivered the oration and discussed how HOPE is unique from other positive emotions. She also encouraged students to think about the Champions of HOPE in their lives and the ways that we can all champion HOPE for others. Please >click here to read Eve’s beautiful HOPE oration. At the end of her speech Eve offered students some reflection time which was complimented by some beautiful classical ballet.  This was truly a special moment.

We sincerely thank the Newcastle Grammar School family for their generous support of Hunter House and for embracing our vision of HOPE. Together, we all helped to ensure…HOPE FLIES

>click here to see some photos of the Hunter days.



HICES Gifted and Talented Camp
Mrs Simone Muddle

The Heads of Independent Co-Educational Schools (HICES) in New South Wales meet regularly to organise activities such as athletics carnivals and camps, so that children from these schools can meet and mix with others who share common abilities and interests. The residential course for gifted and talented children is being coordinated by Mrs Cath Halloran, Head of Junior School at Broughton Anglican College.

This camp is a five day, four night camp which runs from Monday, 29 August to Friday, 2 September. Students engage in a core area of learning, such as Documentary Writing, Archaeology, Flight, Problem-Solving, Drama, Robotics for four hours each morning of the camp. Children also participate in a number of Wild challenges in the afternoon, as well as night activities each evening, such as a talent quest, trivia competition and guest speakers.

This camp is open to Year 6 students only, as the School has been allocated a very limited number of places. Applications from parents who believe their child to be suitable for the camp are currently being considered. Should Year 6 parents wish to seek more information and obtain an application form, please contact Mrs Simone Muddle ( by Thursday, 9 June.



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Performing Arts Concert
Mrs Corey Rowntree

Performing Arts Concert image

A night with NGS Players
Year 9, 10, 11 and 12 Drama students

A night with NGS Players image

NGS Gala Ball Donations
Prize and Auction Items

Prize and Auction donations for the NGS Ball being accepted now

The fundraising efforts at the NGS Gala Ball rely heavily on the generous prizes donated by both our school families and their businesses and outside businesses.  These donations are used both in our Platinum Raffle and to create exciting packages for our Silent Auctions.

This year, we are pleased to announce that the funds raised at the Ball will go towards renovations of our Horbury Hunt Hall. The Hall is a valuable and central part of the School. The current state of the stage means that we are very limited in regards to activities and productions that can presented in the Hall. We envisage that the funds raised will go toward renovation of the stage, including the flooring and lighting etc. This will enable us to use the Hall in its full capacity.

We would now like to request prizes and donations for the Ball. This is a great opportunity for businesses to gain significant and positive exposure during the evening. We also welcome prizes donated by families and will respect the privacy of those making anonymous donations.

Some ideas that might help you – bottles of wine/ champagne, gift vouchers, perfume, art, sculpture, beauty gift packs, breakfast, lunch or dinner vouchers, electrical and technical appliances, kids’ activity vouchers, homewares, sporting vouchers, an ‘experience’ prize that could be used as an auction prize (flight simulator, balloon flight, tickets to sporting/ concert events, hotel accommodation etc).

Please note that if you donated prizes at our last Ball, we will automatically be back in touch with you soon.

For further information about prizes including ideas on what vouchers would complement our packages, please email Lisa Foster at Park Campus on who will put you in contact with the relevant people.

Please note that all prizes should be dropped to either Park or Hill Campus Reception by no later than Friday 17th June. Please include who the gift is from so we know who to thank.

We thank you in advance for your generosity and look forward to a wonderful evening together

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NGS Gala Ball Sponsorship
Packages Now Available

We are pleased to announce the introduction of sponsorship packages at this year’s inaugural NGS Gala Ball.

Sponsorship Packages include the opportunity for businesses to gain significant and positive exposure both leading up to and during the evening. 

Silver sponsorships can be purchased for $250 and Gold sponsorships can be purchased for $1000. 

Anonymous sponsorships-both corporate or personal- are also welcome and privacy will be respected. 

For more information about these packages and what they include,  please contact Lisa Foster on 4925 2121 or





The 98th Gala Ball

The 98th Gala Ball image

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The Blog
From the Head of School

Uniform Shop
Winter Uniform

Winter Uniform

A reminder the uniform shop hours are as follows;

Monday: 8.00am – 2.00pm
Wednesday & Friday: 10.00am – 4.00pm


Canteen Duties

Hill Campus

Mon 13 June:
Queens Birthday Public Holiday

Tue 14 June:
Jacquelene Doran

Wed 15 June:
Aznive Beesley
Julieanne Vickery

Thu 16 June:
Carmen Cox

Fri 17 June:
Beth Winzer
Suzi Draper

Park Campus

Mon 13 June:
Queens Birthday Public Holiday

Tue 14 June:
Alette Schot

Wed 15 June:
Alecia Hennessy

Thur 16 June:
Lisa Griffiths

Fri  17 June:
Emily Macdonald
Carolyn Yost